justintv-logoJustin.tv is no more, with the pioneering live streaming service having suddenly shut down after seven years. Meanwhile, its replacement, Twitch.tv, is making a series of changes which suggests it’s preparing to be acquired by Google.

Justin.tv Is No More

On August 5, Justin.tv shut down without its users being given any kind of notice such a big change was happening. The only explanation offered for killing Justin.tv was the popularity of Twitch, with the company stating in its farewell blog post, “Twitch is now the focus of the company’s resources. Unfortunately that means we need to shut down Justin.tv.” Short, and not at all sweet.

Justin.tv began in 2007 and has provided a place for people to live stream them and their lives ever since. Earlier this year Justin.tv renamed itself Twitch Interactive, showing just how much of an impact its video-gaming offshoot had become. And now it’s absolute focus of the entire company.

Users were given no notice of this change, with accounts being closed and all access to content and settings denied. Users who don’t stream themselves playing video games — and for whom Twitch would obviously be inappropriate — are advised to start using “YouTube, Ustream and Livestream” instead.

Twitch Makes Changes

Around the same time as the closure of Justin.tv was being planned, Twitch was changing its terms of service. Archived streams can no longer be saved forever, and there’s a continuing crackdown on the use of copyrighted music played over streams.

The way in which this was implemented, with no prior warning and an automatic process which has already mistakenly flagged content, has upset many users. But there is one obvious explanation for all of these sudden and sweeping changes…

Google Acquisition On The Cards?

There have been rumors of late that Google is interested in acquiring Twitch. Neither side has commented on the rumors so far, but there’s no better reason why Twitch would have made the changes it has made made over the last few weeks.

It’s surely only a matter of time before it’s announced Google is acquiring Twitch. But if the deal falls through then Twitch will have upset a sizable percentage of its users for no reason.

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